Depth of Field

Depth of field is an essential element in filmmaking that does in fact create a more realistic cinematic experience than mere montage. DoF allows focusing on one particular object in a frame, which not only helps the eye follow a certain object but also parallels the way in which our eye realistically perceives things, making the film seem natural and more fluid. At the same time, the notion that more confusion is created by using depth of field also holds true. The technique may be used to draw attention to items in a frame that normally would not attract the human eye, which leaves the viewer questioning what he or she should truly be focusing on and what really matters in the film overall. Take the above picture, for example. The camera is focused on the closest subject in the frame, which happens to be the victim in the movie. However, despite the camera’s focus, our eyes tend to move towards the dark shadow towards the back of the shot. The viewer is then left to question which is more important in the general picture, and the difference between film and life is even more blurred by causing viewers to ask themselves, “Which is more important?”

Using deep focus is absolutely more realistic than anything created by editing, since it truly happens in the shot and is therefore occurring in real life. Deep focus adds multiple focal points for the audience, and within each point is (often) a different plot point or storyline occurring, similar to how things function realistically. Therefore, deep focus is a much more successful and better way to create space than using editing techniques.

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